IMI and Poongsan Corporation


I recently visited the IMI website. On the page for 7.62mm M62 tracer, one of the images shows a PMJ headstamp (+) PMJ 06.

My understanding is that the PMJ headstamp is used by Poongsan Corporation South Korea. My question is why is IMI showing a South Korean headstamp? I’ve searched to see if there is any business relationship between the two companies but with no success. A common link is the GD “second source” contract, but this still doesn’t answer my initial question. Are IMI loading tracers for Poongsan Corporation or is there another explanation? I can’t believe that it is an error as the other headstamps shown are IMI.



Perhaps IMI needed the tracers to fill an order and acquired them from PMJ. I recall the early days of the M-249 SAW and US difficulty manufcaturing the M-856 tracer. We saw belt boxes of Lake City M-855 Ball linked 4:1 with FN produced tracers (L110?). Perhaps this was a similar situation.



Dave, nowadays it is very difficult to oversee all relations companies do have. Many who have will never admit, others do not care or are even careless when it comes to such details as exposing foreign manufacturer IDs.
I know of Pongsaan that they have been outsourcing prodiction to other manufacturers, in particular about large bore artillery projectiles which are made in Pakistan for example. So I think it is no surprise to see theri hs being made elsewhere.

So the newly made .50 cases of Kynoch with hs “K .50” and .460 Steyr with hs “460 *** STEYR ***” are made by CBC from Brazil for example.
And there are plenty of more such examples.

I guess we would be surprised to know who really made something that we see and think we know about.


Dave, I don’t know why the “PMJ” headstamp has been attributed to PMC, but it seems that this identification hasn’t been disputed because you can find it in many different forums since the first cartridges showed up. In my opinion several small pieces of information seems to indicate that all three calibers and loadings found with this marking (5.56x45, 7.62x51 and .50) were in fact made by IMI in Israel, which was one of the foreign companies that since 2005 supplied General Dynamics. This last company was awarded with a five-year contract to supply small arms ammunition to the US armed forces, and known headstamps agree with the time frame of this contract (PMJ 05/06/07/08/09/10).

If anyone else has documentation or opinions on this subject please let us know.




Most interesting.

I, too, attempted to trace down the attribution of the PMJ headstamp.

Used to be, there was an actual tech manual published with the DOD vendor code information. That then became a .pdf only document. Later, that information (it seems) went online only and isn’t published in a book form any longer, but is available on just a specific DoD website that’s not accessible to the general public.

Since this isn’t classified information, I asked a contact, now deceased, if he would look into that code for me, as he had authorized access, working for a DoD contractor. He reported that it was listed as a PMC Korea code, their own headstamp code in Korea being PSD. PMC was already assigned to Practical Mfg Co., so something else had to be used for US DOD. (At this point, I don’t know if PSD was already also assigned or someone just wanted a different code than the Korean military headstamp.)

Anyway, it would be interesting to know if PMJ is really Korean or actually Israeli.


This code would be identified in whatever replaced MIL-HDBK-1461, which lists all these codes. The last version published was 1999 as far as I know. I understand the next version was available on a .mil site and has for 10+ years been behind the OSD firewall and not generally available to the public. Does anyone know what the designation of the replacement of MIL-HDBK-1461??? It may have been replaced by a NATO document. Any insights would be appreciated.

PMJ is not issued in the 1999 copy of this publication.



I’m just a school teacher, but I know this retired Air Force general. I’m sure he must know somebody with that info. ;)



It looks like the 1999 version of the MIL-HDBK-1461A is still valid according the NOT2 from 2013

(see )


Who makes what? and for whom? is a vastly complicated subject these days. The civilian market is particularly complex in this respect.

Everywhere is run by accountants these days, shut the plant, fire the staff and buy the components in from abroad. Its not just the ammo world.


I suspect that they have just left the 1999 version of the handbook out in the public domain but have a more current list somewhere online. I have found an OSD address and have asked the question. The advantage of leaving it out and calling it current is that if someone comes in and requests the latest copy under the Freedom of Information act, they can just refer them to the copy with the current letter of validation.



Thanks for raising the source the PMJ headstamp again. It does appear that the headstamp is Israeli in origin. The subject of Ammunition Information Notice AIN 036-11 is “Cartridge, .50 Caliber, manufactured by Israeli Military Industries (IMI) with manufacturers identification symbol PMJ”.



IMI " PMJ " 7.62 x 51mm ammunition box:


Brian, thanks for the image!
So is this a box as IMI delivered it?



Good question. For the record the PMJ box (more commonly called an " ammo can ") was a typical surplus market purchase and was empty, so no help on the question there.



Thanks for the clarification Brian, so the search keeps on!


This box leaves no doubt as to the manufacturer of cartridges with PMJ headstamp. Country code “IL” also correspond to Israel.


Fede, and not to forget the “IMI”.


Alex, you are right. The complete UN Specification Marking is explained below:

UN 0339 = Cartridges for weapons, inert projectile or Cartridges, small arms.
G.W.: 16 Kg = Gross Weight
UN inside circle = United Nations Packaging Symbol
4 = Box
A = Steel
Y = For packing group II (Medium Danger). Sometimes also group III (Least Danger).
25 = Up to 25g/cm3
S = Solid material (not liquid)
08 = Production year (2008)
IL = Country Code (Israel)
IMI = Manufacturer
76 = Registration Number




I do not in the least doubt the conclusions made in this thread.

But to prevent misunderstandings, let us not forget that the code after the UN Packaging Symbol only tells us who made the packaging container.

For example, Swiss manufacturer EGI can be found on cartons from RUAG as well as MEN.


Fede, of course I did not intend to nitpick. I knew you would have noticed the “IMI” before anyone else.

Jochem, of course you are correct.
But sometimes the container UN data is the only thing to go by when the rest of the box markings is saying nothing (sometimes on purpose).
Not that one would know about the cartridge manufacturer but it gives at least a hint on involved parties an regional connections.

Thank you all for bringing up all the points in this discussion! Much appreciated.